Because Unclack uses global keyboard input, it requires some initial setup on your Mac.
- Open System Preferences
- Navigate to Security & Privacy
- Open the Accessibility section
- Click on the padlock icon in the bottom left of the screen to make changes
- Sign in as Administrator
- Make sure Unclack is ‘checked’ to enable in the Accessibility options
- Return to Unclack, and restart the app to enable it
- You can also Quit and re-open Unclack to make the changes take effect
Frequently asked questions.
Unclack runs on macOS Catalina (10.15) and above.
There was an issue with app Notarization in an earlier version of Unclack (1.0.1) that should be resolved in 1.0.2+. If you’ve experienced notaraization errors when starting the app on macOS Big Sur, please download the latest version of Unclack via the download button on the landing page.
Unclack Login options
If you want Unclack to keep running in between sign-outs and restarts, open Preferences and click the checkbox to Start Unclack at login.
Why does Unclack need Accessibility access?
Unclack monitors global keyboard events to know when to mute you while you’re typing. Because Unclack cares about keyboard input from any app you might be typing in (like if you’re writing in Chrome or Microsoft Word, or chatting in Messages or Discord), it needs ‘global’ keyboard access. This access is provided to Unclack by you, the user, in System Preferences under Security & Privacy / Accessibility - and it can be turned off at any time.
Unclack + macOS Software Mute Issues
Unclack mutes your microphone input using the controls provided by System Preferences. If you’re using software or hardware that mutes or un-mutes your microphone by modifying the Sound settings in System Preferences, Unclack will override them while it is active. For example, if you (or some hardware/software you’re using) ‘mutes’ you in Sound settings while actively using Unclack, the app will un-mute you automatically when you stop typing.
A future version of Unclack will hopefully address this overlap, but in the meantime if you want to be completely muted in some software you’re using (Zoom call, recording software, etc.) the workaround would be to mute yourself in that application directly, or pause Unclack using the option in the Menu Bar.
Unclack & Secure Text Entry
Unclack does not work while typing in fields with ‘Secure Keyboard Entry’ functionality. Things like password fields, certain Terminal configurations, etc. may fall under this category. This behavior is due to a macOS setting intended to block malicious apps from reading user passwords. Read more about Unclack keyboard access in the ‘Why does Unclack need Accessibility access?’ section above.
Unclack stopped working on macOS Monterey!
This is a known issue that I am currently investigating. A workaround, for now, is:
- Download the 1.1.2 preview release of Unclack from the Versions page.
- Open the Unclack menu from the menu bar > Preferences > Check “Variable Mute Enabled”
- (Optional) Adjust your ‘mute volume’ and your ‘unmute volume’. This will set the Input mic volume for when your mic is ‘muted’ or live, respectively.
This will mute (or turn the volume down on) your mic while you’re typing, and restore it to the ‘unmute volume’ when not typing. It both allows for a bit more flexibility (like if you still want people to hear you there while you’re typing but not have their ears destroyed by your mechanical keyboard) and it works around some issues with macOS mute controls on certain device types.
Lookout for a future stable version of Unclack that hopefully handles this issue more gracefully.
Reported Bugs / Feature Requests
Some of you have written in with valuable feedback, bugs, and feature requests. Here are some of the things I’ve heard so far.
- Enable Unclack only for specific applications
- ‘Disabled’ state logo in the menu bar when Unclack is paused
- Quick-mute via Unclack in the Menu Bar
Bugs / Feedback
Some bugs / feedback I’ve received that still need further debugging / verification.
- Issues with muting certain microphones
- Muting non-default microphones
- Rode NT-USB Mini
- Apogee Mic 96k
- Issues with certain apps
- Webex (not un-muting for some users)